Big is Beautiful: 2021 Toyota Sequoia Adds Sizzle with Nightshade Edition

Big is Beautiful: 2021 Toyota Sequoia Adds Sizzle with Nightshade Edition

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  • New Nightshade Limited Edition Offered for 2021
  • Full-Size, Full Capability Three-Row SUV with Seating for Up to Eight
  • Standard Toyota Safety Sense-P (TSS-P) on All Grades
  • Robust Body-On-Frame Construction and 4-Wheel Independent Suspension
  • Up to 7,400-lb Towing Capacity


PLANO, Texas (November 30, 2020) – When you decide to name a full-sized, full-capability SUV after nature’s tallest, most majestic redwood trees, it had better have the goods to support that choice. The Toyota Sequoia fits the bill perfectly, backing up its capability with legendary Toyota quality, dependability, and reliability. Adding more sizzle for 2021, a new Sequoia Nightshade Special Edition joins the line. This “factory custom” design package will be offered as a limited edition.

With its body-on-frame construction, four-wheel independent suspension, generous ground clearance, and 381-horsepower 5.7-liter i-FORCE V8 engine, the Sequoia comes built for family road and trail adventures. With seating for up to eight (seven in TRD Sport, TRD Pro, and Platinum), the Sequoia has it all: roominess, comfort, versatility, luxury, off-road dexterity, and high towing capacity, all packaged in rugged-yet-elegant Toyota SUV design.

The 2021 Sequoia line includes the SR5, Nightshade Edition, TRD Sport, TRD Pro, Limited, and Platinum grades. The off-road ready TRD Pro makes Multi-Mode 4WD standard; the other Sequoia models offer this versatile system as an option over standard two-wheel drive.

The 2021 Sequoia Nightshade Edition gives off a custom vibe with darkened chrome grille, lower grille surround, body side moldings, fog light surrounds and Sequoia badges. Black mirror caps, door handles, and 20-inch black split-spoke alloy wheels complete the exterior makeover. Guests can choose between Midnight Black Metallic, Magnetic Gray Metallic, or Blizzard Pearl exterior colors. Black leather-trimmed seating surfaces comes standard on the Nightshade Edition.

Sequoia keeps a focus on safety with Toyota Safety Sense-P (TSS-P) standard on every grade. This advanced active safety suite bundles the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection and Automatic Braking; Lane Departure Alert with Sway Warning System; Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and Automatic High Beams.

In addition, all Sequoia grades come equipped with standard Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. The interior features a dual-stage, advanced front air bag system, seat-mounted side airbags for the driver and front passenger, all-row side curtain airbags for all three seating rows, plus driver and front passenger knee airbags.

Ample Room for Up to Eight
Sequoia offers ample comfort and room in all three seating rows. Independent rear suspension endows Sequoia with an especially smooth ride, as well as agility unexpected in a vehicle in this class. The suspension design plays a large part in allowing for the roomy third row, which offers adult-size, 35.3-inch legroom. At 40.9 inches, second-row legroom is on par with full-size luxury sedans. The Sequoia immediately gives the impression of driving “smaller than it is” thanks to its 38.1-foot. turning diameter.

With the middle row seats in use, Sequoia offers 66.6 cu. ft. of carrying space, enough to haul camping gear for four. With both third-row seat backs folded flat, available space increases to a cavernous 120.1 cu. ft. – enough for a very long camping trip for two. The Sequoia can even carry objects up to 11 feet long, provided the maximum weight is not exceeded. The liftgate integrates a versatile separate power window, with auto up/down and jam protection.

TRD Pro: On Target for Off-Road
Customers looking for the ultimate off-road capable Sequoia will find it in the TRD Pro model, which joined the line in 2020. The TRD Pro models, which also include Toyota Tacoma and Tundra pickups and 4Runner SUV, emerged from Toyota’s rich off-road racing heritage. The TRD Pro badge signifies a vehicle that’s capable of going where ordinary pickups and SUVs fear to tread, while still retaining comfort for daily driving.

The 2021 Sequoia TRD Pro comes standard with Multi-Mode 4WD and a chassis fortified with Fox aluminum-bodied internal bypass shocks, along with proven off-road equipment specially designed or selected by Toyota Racing Development engineers. Available exclusively as a 7-seat model, the Sequoia TRD Pro features middle-row captain’s chairs and a three-across third-row seat with 60/40 split backs that also recline.

Special TRD styling makes this Sequoia an eye grabber on road or trail. The TRD Pro grille with the “TOYOTA” name in big, bold letters leads the charge, augmented by LED fog lights by Rigid Industries. The 18×8-in. black BBS forged aluminum wheels wear P275/65 R18 tires.

In addition to TRD Pro-exclusive Lunar Rock for 2021, exterior color choices include Super White, Midnight Black Metallic and Magnetic Gray Metallic. All feature black TRD Pro front door badges. A TRD front skid plate helps protect the front suspension and oil pan, and cast aluminum black running boards and a TRD black roof rack enhance function and style.

TRD Pro: The Details
Compared to external-bypass shocks used on off-road race vehicles, the Fox shocks employed on Sequoia TRD Pro models compactly integrate bypass zones inside the shock body, allowing the shock’s fluid to bypass the piston through regulated ports as it moves through its travel. Providing a cushioned ride during typical driving, the Fox shock damping gets progressively firmer through the shock piston’s stroke to resist bottoming over rough trail surfaces.

The 2.5-inch Fox front shocks on Sequoia TRD Pro include 7 compression zones and 2 rebound zones and provide an 18-mm increase in rebound travel. TRD engineers reduced the front spring rate on Sequoia TRD Pro to enhance its off-road handling. A combination of high-temperature damper fluid and pressurized nitrogen gas inside each shock improves damping performance and helps maximize seal life.

Two-inch-diameter Fox piggyback monotube shocks are employed in the rear of the Sequoia TRD Pro that feature bottom-out-control technology to increase damping force for improved bottoming resistance in unforgiving terrain. Compared to the standard rear Sequoia shocks, the 2-inch Fox units feature larger 47mm pistons (15mm larger than standard) and beefier shock rods that are 3.2 mm larger in diameter.

An available TRD cat-back exhaust system features a single outlet with a black chrome tip and “TRD” debossed logo. The system produces a bolder exhaust note than the standard Sequoia models, while a frequency-tuned sound cancellation device improves in-cabin sound quality.

The TRD Pro cabin treatment combines ready-to-get-dirty function with luxury, because there’s nothing wrong with a little comfort out on the trail. Black TRD Pro leather-trimmed seats with red contrast stitching and TRD Pro logos stitched into the front headrests are comfortable and durable, while TRD Pro all-weather floor mats add bring-it-on cabin protection.

Big Multimedia and Connectivity
All Sequoia multimedia systems feature a 7-in. touchscreen display and the latest smartphone compatibility for maximum versatility. The standard 8-speaker Audio Plus system for Sequoia SR5 and TRD Sport includes Android Auto, Amazon Alexa and Apple CarPlay compatibility; AM/FM/HD Radio; SiriusXM® Satellite Radio with 3-month All Access trial; USB media port and two USB charge ports; advanced voice recognition, plus Bluetooth hands-free phone capability and music streaming.

Safety Connect and Remote Connect are standard, each with a 1-year trial, while Service Connect comes with a 10-year trial. Wi-Fi Connect includes a 2GB/3-month trial (whichever comes first). Both the SR5 and TRD Sport can be optioned with Premium Audio with Dynamic Navigation and 8 speakers.

The Sequoia Limited comes standard with 12-speaker Premium Audio with Dynamic Navigation system, which includes Dynamic Navigation, with up to 3-year trial, Dynamic POI Search, and Dynamic Voice Recognition. TRD Pro and Platinum grades upgrade to Premium Audio with Dynamic Navigation and JBL 14-speaker system, including subwoofer and amplifier. JBL technology brings out the highest quality in all digital music formats.

High-Tech, High-Power V8
All Sequoia models are powered by the dual-overhead cam (DOHC) 5.7-liter i-FORCE V8, which produces 381 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 401 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,600 rpm. Dual independent Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) and an Acoustic Control Induction System ensure ample torque across the engine’s entire speed range.

The i-FORCE V8 is paired with a 6-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission, and, for maximum value, uses regular-grade (87 AKI) gasoline. Notably, the powerful V8 produces 90 percent of its peak torque at a low 2,200 rpm, helpful for smooth towing. Compliant with the SAE J2807 towing standard, the Sequoia TRD Pro can tow up to 7,100 lbs. and features an integrated tow hitch, driver-selectable Tow/Haul transmission mode and Trailer Sway Control. The latter uses the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) to help counteract handling forces that can lead to trailer sway. Sequoia’s rearview camera helps to navigate parking spots or when positioning a trailer.

The available Multi-Mode 4WD system (standard on TRD Pro) uses a lockable TORSEN limited-slip center differential to apportion torque to the front and rear wheels, and a two-speed transfer case provides a low range ratio for tackling steep off-road trails. Low range is accessible on the fly via a rotary knob, and the driver can lock the center differential with the push of a button.

Rooted in Strength
The Sequoia’s body-on-frame construction provides a stable, high-strength foundation for shrugging off everyday bumps and ruts as well as traversing off-pavement terrain. Four-wheel independent suspension, which was once a rarity in this class of SUV, yields outstanding bump absorption on-road and excellent wheel articulation off-road. The 13.9-inch ventilated front disc brakes use four-piston brake calipers, while 13.6-inch ventilated disc brakes are used in the rear.

The Sequoia Platinum grade drives into luxury territory with load-leveling rear air suspension that helps maintain appropriate ride height and chassis attitude when carrying heavy loads or towing. In addition, Platinum adds Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), an electronic damper control system that offers driver-selectable settings for Comfort, Normal, and Sport.

The Sequoia SR5 rolls on 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 275/65 R18 tires; TRD Sport, Limited and Platinum grades have 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 275/55 R20 tires. The Platinum grade features 20-in. machine finish split-spoke with silver accent alloy wheels.

Comfort, Quiet and Versatility Throughout
Road trips go a lot better when everyone onboard can relax in a quiet cabin and enjoy the Sequoia’s extensive multimedia capabilities. The overall vehicle design and exterior features have been shaped to minimize wind noise, which helps keep the cabin serene.

Side-view mirrors on the Limited grade are power-retractable and auto-dimming and have built-in turn-signal lamps. On top of those features, the Platinum grade’s mirrors add puddle lamps, position memory, and reverse-linked tilt functions.

The versatile 40:20:40 split second-row bench-type seat allows a variety of configurations, augmented by a seat-slide adjustment range of 5.9 inches. The middle row folds flat, and a one-touch easy-slide feature makes it easy for passengers to enter the third row. In place of the standard center bench-style seat, luxurious second-row captain seats are available for a 7-seat cabin.

The third-row seat, which is fully hospitable for adults, is split 60:40 and can recline. The third row also easily folds flat, a task made more convenient by the available power tilting and folding feature. The rear liftgate features a power rear window with auto up/down, jam protection, and defogger, and the huge cargo area is equipped with handy hooks for grocery bags. Extra-large cup/bottle holders outnumber passengers two to one, and the Platinum grade adds two more for good measure.

Toyota Value, Plus Real Luxury

The Sequoia SR5 starts with a long roster of standard features and amenities, including LED headlights, daytime running lights and fog lights; front and rear sonar parking assist; tilt/telescoping steering wheel with integrated audio and Bluetooth hands-free phone controls; engine immobilizer with alarm; tri-zone automatic climate control with separate rear-seat controls; power tilt/slide moonroof; towing package; 8-way power driver’s seat; fog lamps; roof rack; running boards, and more. Optitron gauges add an elegant high-tech luxury touch in every grade.

The Sequoia TRD Sport chassis upgrades include sport-tuned Bilstein shock absorbers and TRD front and rear anti-sway bars to enhance on-road handling performance. The TRD Sport stands out with unique styling cues that include a chrome grille surround with black insert and mirror caps, 20-inch TRD Sport black sport wheels, Black Satin finish TRD Sport badging, and available 7-passenger black leather-trimmed seats with contrast stitching. A TRD shift knob, floor mats, and sill protectors complete the cabin upgrade.

The Sequoia Limited adds functionality and convenience with a power rear liftgate with sliding window, power folding and reclining 60:40 split third-row seat and 20-inch alloy wheels. The Limited also boosts comfort, adding heated front leather-trimmed seats, with a 10-way adjustable power driver’s seat and 6-way power front passenger seat, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, and second- and third-row retractable sunshades.

Topping the range, the Sequoia Platinum incorporates the luxuriousness of perforated leather seating surfaces throughout, with heated and ventilated front seats, including a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat. The Platinum also adds a power seat memory package, heated second-row seats and a Blu-ray rear seat entertainment system with a 9-inch LCD screen, separate rear seat audio system, and dual wireless headphones. (This system is available for the Limited and Nightshade grades as an option.)

Strong on Safety
The 2021 Sequoia is equipped with Toyota’s STAR Safety System, which includes: Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Traction Control (TRAC), and Smart Stop Technology (SST) brake override. On 4WD models, TRAC is replaced by A-TRAC (Active-Traction Control). All models have a direct tire pressure monitoring system.

Limited Warranty and ToyotaCare
Toyota’s 36-month/36,000-mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion with no mileage limitation. The 2021 Sequoia also comes standard with ToyotaCare, a plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first, and 24-hour roadside assistance for two years with unlimited mileage.

About Toyota
Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. and North America for more than 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands. During that time, Toyota has created a tremendous value chain as our teams have contributed to world-class design, engineering, and assembly of more than 38 million cars and trucks in North America, where we have 14 manufacturing plants, 15 including our joint venture in Alabama (10 in the U.S.), and directly employ more than 47,000 people (over 36,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.) sold 2.8 million cars and trucks (2.4 million in the U.S.) in 2018.

Through the Start Your Impossible campaign, Toyota highlights the way it partners with community, civic, academic and governmental organizations to address our society’s most pressing mobility challenges. We believe that when people are free to move, anything is possible. For more information about Toyota, visit

Josh Burns
[email protected]

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